Since its founding in 2008, the Council for Global Equality has worked with U.S. government policymakers to chart a new U.S. foreign policy inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.
We have secured a number of important policy advances over the past two years. But our success is not ours alone. In all cases, Council staff worked closely with our 19 organizational members, and with leaders in government and Congress, to secure these policy victories. In the next two years, we will work to entrench these gains and institutionalize a U.S. response to fundamental human rights concerns of LGBT communities abroad.
A central tenant of our work is that U.S. foreign policy leaders should respond to human rights concerns directed at individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity with the same level of commitment that our government has demonstrated in responding to human rights abuses directed at other marginalized or targeted communities around the world. Here, then, are some of our key successes in making LGBT human rights concerns a foreign policy issue in Washington and beyond.
The Council has teamed with Washington think tanks and policy centers to study the impact of U.S. foreign policy on LGBT communities worldwide. Through these studies, the Council promotes a new LGBT-inclusive foreign policy agenda that considers how U.S. foreign policy impacts LGBT communities in other countries, while also making the case for increased funding from U.S. government sources to LGBT civil society internationally.
Recognizing that the State Department must also stand squarely for LGBT equality and opportunity internally, the Council and its member organizations are working to promote inclusive employment and family recognition policies within the State Department’s personnel guidelines and in the Department’s consular services work for LGBT Americans living and traveling abroad.
The Council is working to ensure that the U.S. Congress continues to monitor and respond to human rights abuses against LGBT communities worldwide. This includes working with staff and members on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Council will also continue to work closely with the new LGBT Equality Caucus in the House of Representatives to provide briefings and information on international LGBT issues.